dailybell2008: 2008

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

December Odds and Ends

Working with free103point9 this month, we received more than 60 audio recordings from all over the world in response to our invitation to observe and record sunrises and sunsets this month. Those recordings replaced the usual documentation this month, and I posted those pieces to two different entries. Sunwatchers Audio Archive is a daily record of what came in from where and whom for the entire month. The EMERGENCY AUDIO RESPONDERS entry is a collection of all the emergency audio responders that came through with recordings for the Solstice. I continued to observe and ring bells at each sunrise and sunset and occasionally collected some media or thoughts of my own. However, for the most part, I invite you to enjoy hearing from others for a change. I know I did!
FYI We rang bells in front of the house (including the big bell in the back of the car) for 19 out of 25 consecutive days. That’s a record.

What follows is the odd collection of media from the entire month. To read the aborted daily journal, click here. I discontinued the journal and finished off the month with the Solstice Saga and miscellaneous media. The stories are more buried this month.

12/30 PM Encore, sort of...


12/28 PM Final Procession


12/13 AM Sunrise by the Williamsburg Bridge


12/12 AM Connie and Elizabeth ringing bells and singing by the bridge at 7:05AM (audio)


12/6 PM Somewhere over Missouri?


12/1 AM and 12/3 AM San Francisco day to day.

December Sunwatchers Audio Archive

In response to the invitation, people are sending in recordings from all over the world- they trickle in as the path of the sunrise of sunset moves around the globe. I gather each day's recordings and send them to free103point9 where they are broadcast at noon (EST) the following day. To listen to the daily offerings - live each noon- "tune into" the online radio show at free103point9.

To hear the ones you missed, they are archived here on the dates they were recorded, not broadcast. Just click on the time of day to listen.

11/30 PM Brenda Hutchinson reads poem by Jenneth Webster SF, CA 4:51PM
12/1 AM Norman Tuck "Hy's Bell" San Francisco, CA 7:07AM
12/1 PM Al Margolis at home Chester, NY 4:30PM
12/2 AM Stephan Moore Radiator Brooklyn, NY 7:01AM
12/2 PM Julia(2) and Sonia Vilafranca del Penedes, Barcelona 6:05PM
12/2 PM Erik Deluca What I was Doing Miami, FL 5:45PM
12/3 AM Alyce Santoro 6000 ft Davis Mountains, West Texas 7:30AM
12/4 AM Stephen Vitiello Thursday Morning Richmond, VA 7:09AM
12/5 PM Chris DeLaurenti for Brenda at 4:18 PM on Dec 5 Seattle, WA 4:18PM
12/5 PM Vince Rubino with Dianne Baasch, Heejung Kim, Maureen Kim, Stan Crocker, Alex You, Juhae Park and Cheong Keoul Songdo Incheon, Korea 5:15PM
12/7 AM Jenny Holland "Morning Practice" Albany, CA 7:12AM
12/7 PM Laura Vitale "Rainy Corner" Brooklyn, NY 4:28PM
12/7 PM Pauline Oliveros and Ione Living Room Kingston, NY 4:24PM
12/8 AM Tom Bickley and Nancy Beckman Blessing Berkeley, CA 7:13AM
12/8 PM Ginger Miles "Fire Escape" New York, NY 4:28PM
12/10 PM Jon Brumit kernel-shit-storm and farce-basil-miami-beech Miami, FL 5:30 PM
12/11 PM Sebastian (Beau Casey and Margot Bevington, parents) 7:14AM
12/11 AM and PM Lyn Goeringer Providence, RI 7:04AM/4:16PM
12/11PM Janice Misurell- Mitchell “Border Crossings" Chicago, IL 4:18PM
12/12AM Connie Kieltyka and Elizabeth Robinson "J-Train Sunrise" Brooklyn, NY 7:05AM
12/12PM Charles Veasey Stillwater, NY 4:20PM
12/14PM Kathy Kennedy "Montreal Bells" Montreal, Quebec 6:00PM
12/14PM Sharon Cheslow "On This Day Dec. 14th" Los Angeles, CA 4:45PM
12/15PM Maria Mykolenko "nysunsetdec15" NY, NY 4:28PM
12/15PM Lu Olkowski "BNC_Daily Bell_Dec 16 2008" Brooklyn, NY 4:29PM
12/16PM Judy Dunaway "For Dec 17" Boston, MA 4:13PM
12/17PM Maggi Payne "Berkeley BART" Berkeley, CA 4:51PM
12/18AM Brenda Hutchinson "Broadway Window" Brooklyn, NY 7:14AM
12/18PM Barbara Held and Nil Tous "diagong" Barcelona, Spain 5:24PM
12/19AM Yvonne Buchanan Central New York 7:15AM
12/20PM Roxanne Amico and Heather Kuhn Buffalo, NY 4:44PM
12/21 AM&PM SOLSTICE (See SOLSTICE AUDIO ARCHIVE)
12/22AM Caterina De Re "Snow Seattle Prayer" 7:45AM
12/23AM Erin Espeland and Paul Kaufman Sydney, Montana 7:44AM
12/24PM Raylene Campbell Montreal, Quebec 4:13PM
12/25AM Monique Buzzarté City Island, NY 7:19AM
12/26AM Georgina Lewis Making Breakfast Boston, MA 7:12AM
12/27AM Pilar Subirà Barcelona, Spain 7:17AM
12/27AM Jaime Robles Berkeley, CA 7:23AM
12/27PM Norman Tuck Ocean Beach San Francisco, CA 4:58PM
12/28PM Jenny Holland, Bonnie Holland, Jon Patmore, Finn Holland, Cecelia Holland, Mia Narell, Isaac Narell, Zoe Leavens, Tom Miller, Linda Wang, Michael Jones, Chris Tripoli, Carol Kemper, Brenda Hutchinson, Lucy Holland. "Backyard Band" Berkeley, CA 4:59PM
12/30AM Vicoria Estok "Sunrise" Roosevelt, New Jersey 7:20AM
12/31AM Maria Mykolenko "New Year's Bells" Southeastern Michigan 5:31PM
Laura Spero Sunrise in Kaskikot, Nepal on 12/24AM for the New Year

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

December Journal

Working with free103point9 this month, we received more than 60 audio recordings from all over the world in response to our invitation to observe and record sunrises and sunsets this month. Those recordings replaced the usual documentation this month, and I posted those pieces to two different entries. Sunwatchers Audio Archive is a daily record of what came in from where and whom for the entire month. The EMERGENCY AUDIO RESPONDERS entry is a collection of all the emergency audio responders that came through with recordings for the Solstice. I continued to observe and ring bells at each sunrise and sunset and occasionally collected some media or thoughts of my own. However, for the most part, I invite you to enjoy hearing from others for a change. I know I did!


FYI We rang bells in front of the house (including the big bell in the back of the car) for 19 out of 25 consecutive days. That’s a record.

What follows is the odd collection of media from the entire month. I discontinued the journal and finished off the month with the Solstice Saga and miscellaneous media.

12/1 Sunset. Henry came through again. His sister, Gracie joined him and they both raced down the stairs and ran across the street to ring the big bell. We have to keep an eye on Henry- he just runs right out into the street.

12/2 Sunrise and sunset pieces arrived throughout the day here as the earth moved out of and back into the rays of the sun.

12/3 Another photo at sunrise from my backyard in San Francisco. Same view. Foggier day. This evening we arrived home a few minutes after the sun had set but rang the big bell anyway, just in case anyone wanted to come over and join us. Nobody did, but Mr. Paul from across the street came out and stood in his driveway although I think that was a coincidence. 

12/4 We continue to make an effort to ring the big bell at home as many evenings as possible.

12/5 Getting ready to leave for New York tomorrow. I waited until the last minute to stop working to catch the sunset. It was a minimal observance. Just Norman and I out front ringing the big bell. I like the routine of it. It’s no big deal around here and I like that about it.

12/6 The plane was not very crowded and I had a row to myself. No watch. No cell phone and no animated map in the seatback in front of me. So I had to rely on what I could see out the window and the man who happened to walk down the aisle when I was beginning to wonder what time it was somewhere in the world. It was 6:45 PM in New York and the sun was almost finished. I figured it must be about 4:45 where we were and that would have put us over someplace like Missouri. That’s my best guess. I took a little movie out of the plane window because I liked the moving shadow on the wing of the plane. As soon as I had put the camera back into it’s case and under the seat, I looked back out the window and the wing of the plane was gray. Finished.

12/7 It’s cold here. Too cold to go out first thing in the morning. I almost missed the sunrise because I couldn’t remember where I put the bells after I unpacked last night. After scrambling and stumbling around for a minute, I found two bells lying on the couch. I opened the back door and watched a train roar by, completely overpowering my feeble and stubborn little bells.

12/8 Another morning of placid half asleep clinking towards an empty train rattling by overhead. This evening, I rang a few small bells as I ascended the stairs to the 4th floor on my way to visit my neighbor and her new baby. Mom was waiting to make sure the baby was finished her business before changing her, so the three of us hung out by the changing table. She's a beautiful baby girl, lots of hair and very calm. As I was leaving I rang the little bells for her and she got very still and opened her eyes and smiled. I rang each one by itself to see which was her favorite. She liked the bell with the highest pitch- the tinkliest. So now it’s hers. Maybe her first bell? 

12/9 Bells for the subway in the morning.  Those trains are right on time.
This evening I was in Delhi, NY planning for the Fun Faire which will be at the South Kortright School next April. We were all talking, drinking tea and eating cake when the sun went down, and we missed it by a few minutes. It’s amazing how quickly it gets dark this far north once the sun actually crosses the horizon. The sky was already a deep blue when we noticed and passed the bag of bells around the table. Then we resumed our meeting. The Fun Faire will be held on Friday, 4/3/09. It’s to be a school wide event and hopefully will include all kinds of exhibits, demos and performances. I will present a variety of work to grades 7 – 12 at an assembly tomorrow for inspiration and to give the kids some ideas (and permission) for things they might like to do. Doing what matters and sharing what you do—that’s the theme.

12/10 It’s so fucking cold here – I didn’t want to go outside this morning. So I sat by the window and rang very quietly so I wouldn’t wake Martha or her dog, Simon. Although I forgot that Simon is almost deaf. This evening at sundown, I was driving out in the middle of nowhere here trying to find a place to eat. Anything. I had a piece of toast for breakfast and some gummibears for lunch before my presentation. And that was it.

12/11 The snow on the ground looked very pretty this morning. Also pretty cold. The sun never appeared all day. In fact, it began to sleet and slush. I was on the road in the teeny Toyota Yaris all day. Once I drove over the Catskills, torrential rains replaced the sleet. I almost made it to Connie and Bob’s before the sun set. But not quite. So I rang in the car as I drove deeper and deeper into the grey.

12/12 Connie and Liz stayed in Brooklyn with me overnight and we all got up to ring the bells this morning. It was too cold for me and too noisy to stay outside, so Liz and Connie greeted the day and the subway passengers. Connie also sang - very calmly in the face of all that noise. She and Liz recorded their greeting and we sent it to free103point9 for tomorrow’s daily broadcast.

12/13 It was brisk here today, even in the sunshine. So I just wandered out into the shelter of the back of the building at sunset to see what I could see and to say goodbye to the day. The trains rattled by on the bridge as usual and there was a steady stream of cars passing in both directions. There’s no way to see the sun from there, but it is possible to see some reflections in the windows of a very tall loft building on the other side of the bridge. A somewhat more subtle but prettier indicator is the pink reflection coming off the dome of the bank down the street. I watched the pink fade and checked in with the window across the way and just stood there ringing the bell each time it faded away. Eventually the color faded too.

12/14 My father sings in his Church choir and they performed their Christmas Cantata three times today. The first two times were in their local Churches in Lambertville  (Old Rocks) and Stockton (Stockton Church), NJ. I attended the third performance that was at the assisted living part of the Hunterdon Medical Center. When we first entered the recreation room where the choir was scheduled to sing, my dad looked around and said, “It looks like a good crowd” and there were indeed quite a number of people already assembled. But it wasn’t your ordinary audience. Everyone was seated in wheelchairs and the closer to the time the performance was set to begin, the more people quietly wheeled themselves into the room. The 16-member choir sang really well together- nobody stood out and the blend was perfect. The amount of love and good will in the room was overwhelming at times and I was aware of monitoring my face so it wouldn’t look like it was about to cry. It was that beautiful and humbling. After the concert, Charlotte wanted to go back to her room and lie down so we wandered back there and a little while later, we watched the sun go down from her window.

12/15 Today was the first day of the Sounds Elemental workshop for radio producers co sponsored by AIR and Harvestworks. This is the second one this year, the first was in August. Each workshop has a “theme” – this one is “fire” and the last one was “water”. The themes are handy points of focus. However, the workshops are not “about” either fire or water but are intended to provide immersive and hands on experience with sound. This is the long way of saying what was happening at sunset this evening. Since we were in the middle of the workshop and everyone was intently concentration on their pieces in headphone isolation, I didn’t want to disturb anyone by telling them that the sun was setting. However there were a few people standing around the office and we went out into the hall and stood by a window overlooking the inner courtyard of the building with absolutely no access to the sky. There we stood and rang down the sun on faith alone.

12/16 We turned the corner today- at least as far as the sunset is concerned. The sun continues to rise a minute later each day, but the sunset has finally reversed itself. The sun went down one minute later today than yesterday. Oh happy day. Someone asked if there was someplace we could go to watch the sun go down. “Perhaps the roof?” they suggested. I said maybe from a helicopter. But even that wouldn’t have worked this evening. It had begun to snow. Sparkly. Silently into the slightly lingering daylight.

12/17 I have enjoyed having to interrupt my participation in the workshop to witness the sundown every night this week at Harvestworks. The staff and interns have joined me and even some of the women in the workshop who happen to be taking a bathroom break or making a cell call at that time are suddenly available, too. The biggest window is right by the bathrooms in a short hallway where there are no other doors or offices. So this is where we go to ring the bells. You can hardly see the sky—just a small square of grayish blue- 7 stories above us mirroring the courtyard below. We are holding at 4:29 for three days in a row now—slowly, slowly stretching the end of the day.

12/18 One other person joined me out by the window in the hall across from the bathroom this evening to note the sunset.

12/19 Peeking out the window this morning just so I wouldn’t feel like a total cheater, I dinged the bells thrice and fell right back to sleep. This evening however, there was a natural pause in the class just a few minutes before sunset. We had just finished listening and commenting on somebody’s radio piece when I notice the time. I mentioned that the sun was setting and invited everyone to ring bells with me and we did. It was so nice.

YouTube descriptions:
Sunset. December 28, 2008. Final installment for dailybell2008: We all brought noisemakers to ring down the sun in this final video of the year. Happy New Year everyone! Members of the band in nor particular order are: Zoey Leavons, emcee; Finn Holland, recorder; Jenny Holland, flute; Isaac Narell, flute; Michael Brown, drum: Tom Miller, cowbell. Assorted percussion: Bonnie Holland, Cecilia Holland, Brenda Hutchinson, Carol Kemper, Mia Narell, Jon Patmore- (video, too), Chris Tripoli and Linda Wang.
Thanks to everyone who participated in the project this year. Anyone stumbling on this for the first time, check out the whole year of daily sunrise and sunset observances at-


12/30 Sunset. Encore! This isn’t really much of an encore, more of an after thought. However,  it is actually the last in the series for the year. Norman and I were on our way to a family reunion in Montana when we stopped for the sunrise in the parking lot of this casino. We were near Pocatello, ID and this was just before we resumed out trip and got stopped for speeding.

Friday, December 26, 2008

EMERGENCY AUDIO RESPONDERS

Since there are so many entries for this one day AND it is the Solstice, I am posting all Solstice recordings on this entry. Just click on the time of day to listen.
SOLSTICE SUNWATCH ARCHIVE
Many, many thanks to all of you who sent in recordings on the solstice in response to my distress call. I am very grateful. This was so perfect and wonderful and appropriate. It was worth limping around Newark, NJ indefinitely waiting for a ride home. Thank you again!

DEC21 NOON Barbara Held Andora Mountains, Spain NOON
DEC21PM Thea Farhadian. Sesenheimer Str. 1. Berlin, Germany 3:54PM
DEC21PM Bun Ching Lam. Paris, France 4:54PM
DEC21PM Raylene Campbell. Montreal, Quebec 4:11PM
DEC21PM Georgina Lewis Boston, MA 4:15PM
DEC21PM Lyn Goeringer Providence, RI 4:18PM
DEC21PM Monique Buzzarté City Island, New York 4:23PM
DEC21PM Al Margolis. Chester, NY 4:31PM
DEC21PM Betsey Biggs. 14th Street. New York City 4:31PM
DEC21PM Jenneth Webster. Brooklyn, NY 4:31PM
DEC21PM Alyce Santoro. Truth or Consequences, NM 5:51PM
DEC21PM Vince Rubino On an Airplane somewhere above Eastern Washington time?
DEC21PM Caterina De Re. Seattle, WA 4:04PM
DEC21PM Chris DeLaurentis Seattle, WA 4:21PM
DEC21PM Krys Bobrowski and Chien Wong. KAZ Berkeley, CA 4:54PM
DEC21PM Beau Casey "Soulstice" Berkeley, CA 4:53PM
DEC21PM Paul Stepahin. The Exploratorium- Seed Swap and Bell Ringing. San Francisco, CA 4:53PM
DEC22AM Wendy Suiter. Mt Keira. New South Wales, Australia 5:44AM

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

SOLSTICE SAGA

67 hours door to door from New York to San Francisco
TaDa! That must be some kind of record. Although I know there were 1000’s, maybe 10’s of thousands of people who slept in the airports these past few days leading up to Christmas. My sister and I would have been two more of them. Fortunately for her, when Lisa learned her flight was cancelled she went back and stayed with my father and rerouted herself through Philadelphia. She had to wait two days but she hung out with my Dad and watched TV and got stuff out of the refrigerator when she wanted a snack.
For more details of the saga, click here. To jump to the end, read on:
It really turned out to be a very wonderful thing. A huge blessing. The absolute finality of not being able to leave New York on time. The falling down and hurting myself. The main things I was concerned about missing were the Seed Swap and Solstice Bell Ringing and my audio contribution to the December Sunwatch project. The Exploratorium event went on without me. The Seed Swap was fun and successful. And the bell took on a life of it’s own. Norman brought the Honda and the big bell over to the museum and rang it outside in the parking lot in the pouring rain. Inside the museum, the Explainers rang the two big bells that they usually ring only at the end of the day. (One of those bells is the one I drove around the country in 2006). People who were gathered in the theater rang bells and shook their keys before wandering out to join Norman in the parking lot. Thank you everyone who made this happen and especially Norman and Liz. I was sorry that I couldn’t be there but unbelievably happy just imagining it happening. What happened next was unexpected and honestly has changed my life in ways I don’t really understand, but I am forever grateful and appreciative.

When I had arrived at the hotel, it was 5:00 in the morning on the 21st. I knew that I wouldn’t make it back for the Exploratorium event and I knew that I would be unable to record my sunrise or sunset observance. And I was very tired. I should have just gone to bed, but instead, I sent up a flare. I sent an email to everyone that I had originally invited to participate in the daily recordings. I should have been more selective, but I wasn’t thinking clearly, and my computer was running out of battery power. What I wanted to convey was that I wouldn’t be able to record on the solstice and wondered if anyone would be willing to do so in my place. I should have simply made the request and left it at that, but I explained my situation and it seemed more dire than it actually was. Because my phone had already died, I was unaware of how many people called and left messages for assistance and it wasn’t until I woke up and checked my email that I realized how many people so generously and quickly responded to my cry for emergency audio. I had no idea how many exceptionally generous and wonderful people I know. I was and am overwhelmed and humbled.

Thank you all for your kind and immediate offers of assistance and for the many fabulous solstice recordings you sent in on such short notice. That was beyond luck. These Solstice Sunwatch recordings are more and better than anything I could have possibly done and they would have never happened under ordinary circumstances. If I had to point to a single moment from this past year in terms of gauging the success of the dailybell2008 project, this was the moment. Thank you all; truly, from a part of myself I hadn’t known existed.

Happy Holidays. And “It ain’t over ‘til the fat lady sings”…

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Approaching the Solstice

December 13, 2008
Sunset 4:29 PM Brooklyn, NY


It was brisk here today, even in the sunshine. So I just wandered out into the shelter of the back of the building at sunset to see what I could see and to say goodbye to the day. The trains rattled by on the bridge as usual and there was a steady stream of cars passing in both directions. There’s no way to see the sun from there, but it is possible to see some reflections in the windows of a very tall loft building on the other side of the bridge. A somewhat more subtle but prettier indicator is the pink reflection coming off the dome of the bank down the street. I watched the pink fade and checked in with the window across the way and just stood there ringing the bell each time it faded away. Eventually the color faded too.

Friday, December 12, 2008

OM to the train

December 12, 2008
Sunrise 7:10 AM. Brooklyn, NY.

Connie and Liz stayed in Brooklyn with me overnight and we all got up to ring the bells this morning. It was too cold for me and too noisy to stay outside, so Liz and Connie greeted the day and the subway passengers. Connie also sang - very calmly in the face of all that noise. She and Liz recorded their greeting and we sent it to free103point9 for tomorrow’s daily broadcast.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

More or less fog

December 1 & 3, 2008 
Sunrises 7:06 & 7:08 AM. San Francisco, CA



More photos at sunrise from my backyard in San Francisco. Same view. More or less fog.

This evening (12/3), we arrived home a few minutes after the sun had set but rang the big bell anyway, just in case anyone wanted to come over and join us. Nobody did, but Mr. Paul from across the street came out and stood in his driveway although I think that was a coincidence.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Who's Who- Sunwatching on the Radio

I have extended an invitation from Free103point9 to broadcast 1-3 minutes of audio each day for the month of December. This invitation grew out of my collaboration with Lines of Sight #6 produced for Radio Web MACBA in Barcelona by Barbara Held and Pilar Subirá. I made the initial invitation to 30 people from all over the globe.
It's a very exciting line up and you can listen to a new piece each day at noon (EST) on free103point9. I will also archive each piece here on the blog.

December 2008 BROADCAST dates (due dates are one day earlier):
1- Jenneth Webster/Brenda Hutchinson
2- Al Margolis
3- Stephan Moore,
Sònia López and her daughter, Julia
Erik Deluca
4- Alyce Santoro
5- Stephen Vitiello
6- Chris DeLaurenti
7- Vince Rubino with Dianne Baasch, Heejung Kim, Maureen Kim, Stan Crocker, Alex You, Juhae Park and Cheong Keoul
8- Jenny Holland
9- Tom Bickley and Nancy Beckman
Laura Vitale
10- Ginger Miles
Pauline Oliveros and Ione
11- Jon Brumit
12- Lyn Goeringer
Sebastian (Margot Bevington and Beau Casey's baby boy)
13- Connie Kieltyka and Elizabeth Robinson
Charles Veasey
Janice Misurell- Mitchell
14- Norman Tuck
15- Kathy Kennedy
Sharon Cheslow
16- Lu Olkowski
Maria Mykolenko
17- Judy Dunaway
18- Brenda Hutchinson
Maggie Payne
19- Barbara Held and Nil Tous
20- Yvonne Buchanan
21- Roxanne Amico
22- Barbara Held
Thea Farhadian
Bun Ching Lam
Raylene Campbell
Lyn Goeringer
Georgina Lewis
Al Margolis
Monique Buzzarté
Betsey Biggs
Jenneth Webster
Alyce Santoro
Vince Rubino
Caterina De Re
Chris DeLaurenti
Krys Bobrowski & Chien Wang & Kaz
Paul Stepahin @ The Exploratorium
Wendy Suiter
Liz Keim
23- Caterina De Re
24- Erin Espeland
25- Raylene Campbell
26- Monique Buzzarté
27- Georgina Lewis
28- Pilar Subirà
Norman Tuck
29- Jenny's House Jenny Holland, Bonnie Holland, Jon Patmore, Finn Holland, Cecelia Holland, Mia Narell, Isaac Narell, Zoe Leavens, Tom Miller, Linda Wang, Michael Jones, Chris Tripoli, Carol Kemper, Brenda Hutchinson, Lucy Holland.
30- Jaime Robles
31- Victoria Estok
1/1/09- Laura Spero
Maria Mykolenko

Sunday, November 30, 2008

"Twighlight into Darkness"

Tonight was the first recording in a series of daily audio responses to either the sunrise or sunset each day. My friend, Jenneth Webster sent a poem she had written about a sunset in Brooklyn. I read her poem here in San Francisco this evening at sunset while Norman rang the big bell out in the street. Thank you, Jenneth.

Listen to a new recording from someone different each day during the month of December at free103point9. I will also archive the pieces here on the blog.

TWILIGHT INTO DARKNESS
by Jenneth Webster

So old ocean
I am with you again.
Lost baby possum: narrow tall head, small neatly folded black ears
Skeletal eye sockets, narrow tall body. buff with a ridge of hairs along the spine, small naked tail.
Walking, slowly, questioningly along the base of rock wall.
Lost baby possum, sniffing each gap among big stones.
In the bottom of the garden in Brooklyn's heart.
Where did you come from?

In the cab window, the small space between glass and door, a lady bug climbs and slides back,
climbs again. She will not climb my finger, but mounts a morsel of newspaper which flies
out the window. Little girl, where did you go?

I am alone, red Dragonfly, Mocking Bird, Woodpecker.
Squirrel:I see you hunching dead still in a treefork. I have seen you eating avocados, apples.
Bunny, sitting in lush bright last of sunlight grass of the Children's Garden, I know your ways.

I lived here once for ten minutes, shut in the Botannical Garden at closing. Silent, blissful world.

I am trying so hard to remember, so hard to remember you.
The Fall darkness is coming.
Trying so hard.

Last Week of November

We have been ringing the big bell on the street at home most nights since November 11th. It is becoming a regular part of the day and sometimes our neighbor come out to join us in the evenings.

11/24 AM Malcolm is getting old
It’s a mixed blessing with him because the older and more frail he becomes, the sweeter and more mellow he gets. Maybe mellow is to optimistic of a word, but he definitely has moments of availability and softness that he never had in his feral and high-strung youth. So this morning when it was time to get up, I just couldn’t move. Sometime in the night, Malcolm had weaseled his way over my arm with his body pressed against mine and his face jammed into my cheek. I wasn’t exactly afraid to move, but I wasn’t in a hurry either. It was such a rare moment. So Norman got his usual bell from his bureau and passed it to me very carefully so we wouldn’t alarm the cat. Then we took turns ringing it as gently as possible.

11/24 PM I was on the phone at sunset this evening and missed it by a few minutes. When I hung up, it was still light outside so I grabbed some cowbells and ran downstairs to get Norman to come outside with me. We ran out of the garage clanging the bells and were surprised to see Henry and his father standing in their driveway across the street. Looking closer, we saw that Henry (who is only 3 years old) was ringing the little free bell I gave him months ago. It turned out that he and his father were out walking Gladys and Gus when they noticed the sunset. It was particularly colorful this evening because of all the dirt in the air. Suddenly Henry said they had to go ring their bells and they hurried home, ran into the house and were standing in their driveway ringing that tiny little bell when we came barreling out of the house with the cowbells. Magic.

11/25 AM I was hoping to capture that early morning hum. (audio)

11/25 PM Oh Henry!
We were racing home this evening so we would be there in case Henry was waiting. I kept flashing to the image of Henry standing at the bottom of his driveway ringing that tiny little bell last evening. Norman and I were late, but Henry was there for us. So it was with some urgency that we zipped home tonight and pulled up in front of the house - just on time. As we hopped out of the car to open up the back, Henry’s dad pulled up across the street in their car. Henry’s dad had barely parked the car when he jumped out to open up the back door, and Henry popped out. We had already started ringing the big bell when Henry came running across the street. We put the adult sized hearing protection over his ears and told him to push on the bell. He had never rung the big bell and was a little shy of it and had to push it over and over again until it finally rang. Once. And that was enough. I love Henry. His dad said that when they pulled up and saw us ringing the bell Henry just started yelling “letmeouletmeoutletmeout!”

11/26 AM Still Pondering the Birds
There are a few really large trees in the nearby back yards and they must house 100’s of birds. I remember wondering in the spring where all the birds had gone. Was their absence some new indicator of either global environmental change or crow dominance in our local area. Perhaps it turns out to be partly seasonal. Wintering in San Francisco?

I realize that even after a year of watching and listening to the bird activity in my own back yard, I know very little about what’s going on. Are the birds in peril? Are their times when there are more birds than others? Do certain birds dominate at different times of year? And where does one go to find out information about one’s local bird activity? So I started searching the web for some answers. I googled “San Francisco seasonal bird population” and went from there. Here’s what I found. The birds are in peril- some times more than others. They are seasonal. When it’s a quiet morning and there aren’t many birds around, can I tell the difference? Do I know if everyone is present and accounted for? How can I know if some birds are dead, never born or are merely elsewhere? I still don’t know. But I do have a small audio record of their songs and presence in my yard over this past year. In the overall scheme of things- eras and eons- I do have a very tiny sampling to use for comparison in the upcoming year.

11/26 PM Sunset on the Escalator
Budd, Norman and I met at the wrong movie theater. The names were sort of similar (Bay Street 16 and Emerybay 10), and they were both in the same confusing wasteland of massive mall, home depot and IKEA. It took us an hour to find the place, park the car in a garage and be in front of the theater at the agreed upon time. Right place. Wrong time. Just before heading back into the parking garage so we could drive around, under and past the on and off ramps to 3 different freeways without getting lost again, we took out some bells and rang them. An escalator ran right in front of the theater where we were standing and we informed the people smoothly ascending past us that the sun was setting as we toasted them with the bells.

11/27 AM Thanksgiving morning
Busy little birds. (audio) Because it’s a holiday, there is no traffic at this time of day. It’s like Sundays when you can hear the local activity so much better.

11/27 PM Turkey Time

Amir came over to join us for dinner just before sundown. I hadn’t realized that Amir had never rung the big bell. Usually he tries to give the impression that he knows how to do everything and projects an assurance and confidence about doing things. It’s hard to know what he’s done before and what he’s trying for the first time. So I was surprised when he said he wasn’t sure he could ring the bell. But he did and one by one kids started coming out of neighboring houses. Each time a new person showed up and rang a bit, I thought that was it. The last one. And then another would come. It turns out they were all cousins. The two girls live next door to one another and they are old hats with the bell ringing. Their other cousin must have been visiting for Thanksgiving, and when they all finished ringing, the girls asked if their cousin could have a bell to keep. I like how normal it’s become around here.

11/28 AM I vaguely remember ringing the bicycle-disguised-as a-hotel-bell this morning while Norman rang Hy’s little bell. It was a sweet performance. Malcolm was about as attentive as he usually is - which is to say he didn’t move. The sun came up as usual and I went back to sleep, also as usual these days.

11/28 PM Evening Bell Ringing Routine
Since my neighbors have been coming out to join me these past few evenings, I thought I’d bring the movie camera out for a change to catch some of the action. Jinxed it. Nobody came. Maybe nobody wanted to come out into the grayness.

11/29 AM There is no other time of day that sounds like the early morning. On Saturday it’s possible to hear the small, busy birds fluttering and chattering everywhere. (audio).

11/29 PM Walking the Grid
Jenny and Isaac came to visit this afternoon, and we all walked down to the beach. We had just started walking away from the house when I thought to go back and bring some bells with us in case we didn’t make it back before sunset. But we had a few hours and figured we would be back in plenty of time. Three hours later we were still zigzagging our way back home through the grid of numbered and alphabetically named avenues when the sun went down. I had a few of the free bells in my bag and we rang those. They are so small and quiet you can hardly hear them. Change in your pocket makes more noise than those bells. In any event we found a spot on a corner up the hill from the ocean where we could actually see the sun dipping below the water. We weren’t alone. The family whose house we were standing in front of was also outside watching the sun go down. We shared our bells with them and watched together.

11/30 AM Norman and I rang our favorite combination of bells again this morning.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Where have all the birds gone?

11/26 AM

There are a few really large trees in the nearby back yards and they must house 100’s of birds. I remember wondering in the spring where all the birds had gone. Was their absence some new indicator of either global environmental change or crow dominance in our local area. Perhaps it turns out to be partly seasonal. Wintering in San Francisco?

I realize that even after a year of watching and listening to the bird activity in my own back yard, I know very little about what’s going on. Are the birds in peril? Are their times when there are more birds than others? Do certain birds dominate at different times of year? And where does one go to find out information about one’s local bird activity? So I started searching the web for some answers. I googled “San Francisco seasonal bird population” and went from there. 
video
Here’s what I found. The birds are in peril- sometimes. They are seasonal. When it’s a quiet morning and there aren’t many birds around, can I tell the difference? Do I know if everyone is present and accounted for? How can I know if some birds are dead, never born or are merely elsewhere? I still don’t know. But I do have a small audio record of their songs and presence in my yard over this past year. In the overall scheme of things- eras and eons- I do have a very tiny sampling to use for comparison in the upcoming year.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Third Week of November

11/16 AM
This morning I woke Lisa up with the gong she had given me for Christmas last year. It’s the same gong I rang for Warren when he was so ill. Every morning and every night when I open or close the curtains, I ring that gong and think about the sound carrying blessings out beyond those windows. Of course, this morning, I just wanted to wake Lisa with it.

11/17 AM Cazadero Wake Up
This is working out so nicely. The sun rises just about the time Lisa needs to wake up to get ready for her conference each day. So I get to be her wake up call. It reminds me of being at Cazadero Music Camp more than 30 years ago. Cazadero was a summer camp in a redwood forest in Northern California where city kids from the Bay Area would go for a few weeks each summer to sleep in tents at night and play music all day. We’d have up to 170 kids there at a time, and we needed to wake them all up by 7:30 in the morning. So one by one, day-by-day, each tent full of kids or faculty would take turns waking everybody up. It was called Creative Wake-up and it was sort of a contest to see who could come up with the most imaginative and effective way to wake everybody up. Running around yelling and screaming at people to wake up was low on the list. A small band of strolling musicians was regarded much more highly. Having a group of people think about, plan and perform a ritual wake-up call was a really lovely way to be nudged out of what was usually a very deep sleep. I thought about this when I woke my sister up this morning as I gently rang the gong for her.

11/17 PM Norman is working with our former neighbor, Will to build several of Norman's OscylinderScopes that the Exploratorium has ordered from him for resale to other science museums. They were working in the garage all day and took a break to ring some cowbells with Lisa. Then she wanted to ring the big bell in the car, so we ran out to the street to set up. We discovered that the hearing protection was missing (I guess they needed it for the metal cutting) so Lisa only rang the bell a couple of times. It hurt her ears.

11/18 AM We didn’t have to wake my sister this morning since she finished her conference yesterday. She wanted to sleep in. So Norman and I rang the hotel bell-disguised-bicycle bell and Hy’s little hand bell without getting out of bed ourselves. They sounded really nice together. The fog has returned. Or the sun is leaving with Lisa. It’s cold again.

11/18 PM
Will and Norman were still working on the OscylinderScopes this evening. They took a break from the welding and cutting of the metal to clang some (audio).

11/19 AM I had so enjoyed this combination of bells the other day that I wanted to record them. Unfortunately for the recording, I opened the door to go outside and made a lot of noise with the mic cable. I’ll try again another day.

11/19 PM A dream come true!
It’s been great ringing the big bell on my street every evening. It feels like part of the expected landscape. Part of the day. The other day when someone down the street honked a car horn in rhythm with the bell, it was so unexpected and exciting. Last night was even more so. Norman and I zipped home just in time for the sunset. I had carried lots of bells around in the car with me all day- just in case I didn’t make it home. So we pulled the bag out of the car and Norman picked the little tingsha bells as I hurried up and opened the back of the car. Fortunately, I had found the hearing protection in the garage after the construction job was finished and had already replaced them in my car. Just as we started ringing, our neighbors from a few doors down pulled up in front of their house. Mary ran inside to get her bell and she came out with her daughter and father. I was already beside myself that they had come uninvited when another neighbor from further down the street came walking over with her daughter running in front of her. Everyone rang bells and we hung out until the sun went down. It was so good.

11/20 AM When the alarm went off this morning, I was more alert than usual. So I went and got the bowl bell and took it outside while Norman rang Hy’s bell in the bed. Malcolm was also more alert than usual, and he tried to escape out the back door. However, I managed to slip out on my own and quietly stirred the bowl for the birds. There were so many.

11/20 PM I love when other people come out to join us. So casual and normal.

11/21 AM The sun is rising at almost 7AM, and during the week it is really humming out there. The roar from the traffic has displaced what had been a delicate spaciousness. The soft band of noise that is the sound 1000’s of cars moving all over the city is constant, thick and indistinct. It is everywhere, yet nowhere you can point to. It fills the air in the same way as background music. It doesn’t really command attention but it occupies space and washes out other, smaller details. Because the ambient sound level is so much louder and more present, it makes it more difficult to hear and appreciate small, local sounds. Quiet sounds with brittle edges like a rustling leaf or the flap of a bird’s wing. Even the sharp burst of a bird’s call is smothered. These tiny, bright sounds are lost, muffled or buried in the dense ambience of so many distant car engines.

11/21 PM Chewing on some bells

Krys and I in the mosh pit with the Obama boys.

11/22 AM Another lazy morning just looking out the window at sunrise and ringing bells in the bed.

11/22 PM We rang the big bell outside again this evening. (audio). This time nobody came. It was very foggy. Cold and wet. Better to stay inside.

11/23 AM

Last night, Norman finished turning Bob’s bell into our doorbell. (See entry: Bob's Bell One Year Later)

11/23 PM For the past few months, my friend Evangel King has been creating a monthly series of dance performances she calls “Dance As It’s Made”. She invites the audience to first witness her in the process of creating dance and then to discuss it over tea immediately following her performance. This was the first one I was able to attend, and it was very special. I enjoy watching work in progress and sharing that experience with others. The feeling in the audience is relaxed and engaged and it’s extremely pleasurable for me. Since I hadn’t seen Vangie in a long time, we went out to eat afterwards and our meal coincided with the sunset. We rang bells at our table and when I offered our waiter a free bell, he wanted to know how many he could have. He took several and shared them with other people working in the restaurant.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Bob's Bell One Year Later

11/16 PM Our friend Bob Miller died just over a year ago. He had been in the Merchant Marines and his partner worked as a longshoreman on the Oakland and San Pedro docks before he died more than a decade ago. Bob had lived at our house, and he took care of Malcolm when we went out of town. Malcolm is a troubled animal. He’s fearful and aggressive. That’s a hard combination to live with. The mentality of “get the other guy before he gets you” is especially difficult when you as a human are on the receiving end of the claws and teeth which are called into service to “get the other guy” which is generally you. Bob and Malcolm had some kind of understanding. Malcolm loved Bob, and I think it was because Bob had such big feet. Malcolm would sit on the floor next to Bob’s feet looking very proud and comfortable to be in Bob’s presence. It was a special friendship between them and we were very grateful. Before Bob came along, we always had a hard time finding someone to stay with Malcolm. People would come once and then never come back. We had run out of friends and friends of friends before Malcolm met Bob.

Before Bob died, he had given us a ship’s bell. I have rung it all year and every time I do, I think of Bob. He was a wonderful man and a good friend. When he stayed here, he would find projects to do. He painted my room, the hallway, the room where we keep Malcolm’s litter box. He made a contraption with back-scratchers, bells and a piece of netting to catch the mail that normally fell on the garage floor when the mailman dropped it through the slot. Bob’s hand and presence are in every room and behind every door in this house. One of the projects we had planned to work on together was the doorbell. We have no doorbell. There’s just a hole in the wall next to the door where there had been one at some unnamed time in the past. We thought Bob’s ship bell would make a great doorbell because it’s so loud and also because it’s a real bell. We talked about where in the house to hang it and how would we get it to ring. Over time, the destiny of the bell emerged. However, we didn’t get around to turning it into the doorbell in time.

So now after more than a year since Bob died, we finally are getting around to it. Norman was in the garage rigging up a solenoid and mounting the bell when it was time for the sunset. While he rang Bob’s bell in the garage, I went out to the street and rang the big bell (audio). Those are our loudest bells. I wonder how loud something has to be to be considered “loud enough to wake the dead”. HELLO WE MISS YOU!!!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Choral Sunset Preview

11/9 Earlier this afternoon, I recorded (audio) the Cardew Choir as they rehearsed and performed a piece we have just begun to work on. The piece was commissioned by Barbara Held for the online radio program she and Pilar Subirá are curating for Radio Web MACBA (Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona) The show is called Lines of Sight, and the next installment will feature yours truly. Most, but not all of the focus is on collaborative projects. These include both large-scale long-term projects like dailybell2008 as well as more intimate work like the SoundTracks project I did with Ann Chamberlain. In addition, there is a conversation between Jon Brumit and I where we discuss a few of our public collaborative projects. If you are unfamiliar with his work, check out his website. He’s very funny and thinks we may be distant cousins. Lines of Sight #6 will be available beginning December 1 at RWM.

This is an excerpt (audio) from the work in progress for the choir. They will premiere the completed work at a concert in May 2009. In the meantime, here’s a short sketch and preview.

Second Week of November

11/9 AM Norman and I walked out to the sidewalk and listened to the birds all up and down the street. There were two little trees at the end of the street that seemed to house most of the birds and they were blasting the music.

11/9 PM A nice pink sunset with cowbells


11/10 AM Bells in the bed at 6:45 AM. Malcolm didn’t even get up.

11/10 PM It had been a while since
we sounded that big loud bell in the back of my car. I had missed hearing it so that’s the one we rang. It’s really nice to be working and in the middle of doing something to suddenly and gently realize that the sun is about to go down. The past few days I have stopped what I was doing within minutes of the sunset because something about that time of the day asserted itself. Like magic, the moment intruded and subtly disturbed my concentration. So I simply stopped whatever I was doing, stood up, got some bells and walked outside to look around at just that moment. It was like riding over the edge of the world. Riding for that one moment as the earth turned away from the sun and carried me along as I watched.

11/11 AM Still lazy in the morning. We wake up just long enough to look out the window and see what kind of day it might be while we ring a few bells for a minute or two. I’ve been too tired to even feel bad about not getting up and going outside or down to the Ferry Building. Maybe next week.

11/11 PM In honor of Veteran’s Day
I rang the big bell at sunset again today. It’s a very solemn sounding bell. There’s also something reassuring about the repetition and constancy of ringing the big bell in my neighborhood in the evening. It’s so loud that everyone on the block can hear it as it signals the ever-hastening end of the day for this time of year.

11/12 AM A busy morning. Birds up. Neighbors up and driving off. (Audio)

11/12 PM The Band Got Bigger
This is the third day in a row we rang the big bell out front of the house. Just before sunset, my neighbor Helen came over to look at my futon. Her Aunt is coming from New York, and she needs a place to sleep for a few days. Helen has a cot but no mattress so she wanted to see if mine would work. It will. As we were walking back towards the front door, I offered Helen a cowbell and asked if she would like to join us. We had to hurry. Norman was already outside opening up the back of the car when Helen and I came out the front doors jangling our cowbells. Then Norman started clanging that big bell. The next thing I noticed was a car horn beeping down the street. It was tapping along with us in a regular rhythm. Suddenly the street was so alive and noisy. It was great.

11/13 AM Sunrise and a bathroom run coincided very nicely this morning. A minute of multitasking, then back to bed.

11/13 PM My sister, Lisa, came into town today for a conference at a fancy hotel on Market Street. I dropped her off for her first meeting just before 5:00 this evening then sat in the bike lane with my flashers on so that I could catch the sunset before driving off into rush hour traffic. I had my Ziploc bag of free bells in the car and rang them for a moment or two. They sounded so nice, I continued to ring them all the way up Market Street. I felt a little guilty ringing them by myself when there were so many people walking around.

11/14 AM Coffee and Bells?

Lisa is staying with me while attending ENERGY MEDICINE for WOMEN conference and workshop with Donna Eden at the Hotel Whitcomb this week. Lisa is a healer and practitioner of Applied Kinesiology and has been working in this field for several years. It’s hard to hear, but the first few words out of her mouth this morning after I woke her up were inquiring whether or not I would be serving coffee as an encore at that early hour. I think perhaps she forgot she wasn’t at the hotel.

11/14 PM Unless I have something special planned for the sunset, I usually keep on doing whatever I am doing until the last minute. This evening however, I had just returned home from some errands, and there was still a chunk of time before sunset. Instead of rushing into the house and finding something to do for 15 minutes, I just stayed outside and looked around the street. Not much was going on. Some people walked by, the man across the street was watering his little patch of grass. A streetcar passed by the corner. In general, it was quiet and slow on the street. On the other hand, the change in the light was very dramatic. When I first arrived home, the houses and roads and trees seemed to be producing their own light. In the short amount of time that I was surveying the activities around my house, the light had drained away from the ground and moved to the sky. But only for a moment. I rang the big bell and went inside. Instead of closing the curtains at that moment, I left them open to allow the last bit of colored light into the room.

11/15 AM Lisa came in and woke me up for the sunrise this morning. The only handy bell was the one I call the hotel bell. It looks like the bells you tap on for service at the hotel desk. However, you ring this one by twisting instead of tapping. And it doesn’t behave like the single ding of the desk bell. It’s works and sounds like the kind of bell we used to have on our bicycle handlebars when we were kids. It’s a bike bell masquerading as a desk bell. What’s it for, really?

11/15 PM As I walked by the kitchen window,
I happened to look out and see the tree in the neighbor’s backyard, blazing with autumn color. However, it’s not a deciduous tree. It’s that big evergreen where those nasty crows live in. The “Baby Crow Battle” tree. The sun must have been shooting straight across on its way down to set the tree on fire like that. Within a few minutes, the color was gone.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Election Days

11/3 PM Ringing on the Road to Reno
We had gone to Phoenix 4 years ago as poll watchers for election protection.org. We witnessed first hand such a deadly combination of corruption, incompetence, misinformation and intimidation that it was obvious that the will of the people was not being honored. So this time around, Norman and I voted early in San Francisco so we could go to Nevada for the election to help get out the vote there on election day itself. The sun set as we were stuck in rush hour traffic on a rainy Interstate 80 and we just pulled over to the side of the road and rattled some cowbells at the slowly passing cars. As we approached the Sierra Mountains, that rain turned to snow and we got caught in a blizzard going over the Donner Pass. The road was closed to anyone who didn’t have chains or 4-wheel drive. Our little rental car had neither and we couldn’t go ahead or turn back without them. So we got in line at the gas station and got some chains and put them on in the parking lot with the snow blowing and piling up at an alarming rate. Then off we went -over the mountains. There weren’t many cars on the road so when we spun around and went off the road, it was quiet and smooth and easy. Fortunately, once we came to rest and waited for the line of cars coming over the rise to pass, those chains gripped the road and we were off again.

11/4 AM Canvassing in Ne-VAAH-da
We were in Reno to canvass for the election and were on the road by 5:30 AM. By the time the sun was coming up, we were already out hanging election reminders and poll information on the doorknobs of many sleeping households. It was SO cold, but the snow on the distant mountains was turning a cotton candy pink, and the sight was worth freezing for.

11/4 PM Yes we can. Yes we did!
Wow. I didn’t believe it was possible. AUDIO (bells recorded at the Exploratorium).

11/5 AM
It was so dark in the room when I woke up this morning, I thought I might have gotten up too soon again. But then I remembered where I was and opened up those very effective blackout curtains found in all the finest hotels. And the Circus Circus was no exception. It really is a lovely sight to see the sun come up over those snow-dusted mountains. We left Reno to drive back to San Francisco this morning. What a difference two days make. The Donner Pass was clear and well salted.

First Week of November

11/1 AM Barking Crow
It’s our 11th anniversary today. There was a crow barking outside this morning. It was regularly and cawing in short bursts for at least 15 minutes. If it was a dog, I would have been irritated. I imagined for a moment that it was a dog and thought about why that would have bothered me. If it was a dog, I would have been annoyed at the owners of the dog for letting it bark. But because it was a crow, I only thought about the crow and the fact that it was a bird making the noises that a bird makes. It never would have occurred to me to think beyond the bird or to look for someone to blame for the persistent cawing of the bird. But I have gotten annoyed at the same persistent barking of a nearby dog.

11/1 PM Fish Song
We went out and bought a goldfish to keep our other fish company. She’s 13 years old and has outlived two other fish. We thought she might be lonely and several people who have come over lately have said the same thing. At sunset, we decided to serenade the new little fish on her first night in our house and rang some bells for her. Then we released her into the big tank and hoped for the best.

11/2 AM
Norman rang Hy’s bell this morning and I went and got the little tingsha (cymbal) bell. When we rang them, they were almost the same pitch. This was the first time I noticed that.

11/2 PM Sudden, Early Darkness
This was the first night since we have turned the clocks back. It was also the last evening of our training as volunteers for Jewish Family and Children’s Services Palliative Care Program. It’s been really wonderful to ring down the sun with a group of people who have looked forward to it and embraced the project and experience. Thank you all again. I am so happy that we have met, and I look forward to where we go from here.

11/3 AM Standard Time
I got confused this morning and thought the sunrise was at 6:08 AM. The darkness creeps into each day one minute at a time and last night the sun set at 5:09 PM. Somehow I subtracted a minute but it was from the wrong hour at the wrong end of the day. So when I woke up this morning, it was still pretty dark outside. But because there was a little bit of pink light peeking over my neighbor’s trees to the south I knew it was only a matter of time before the whole sun appeared. I just thought it was extra dark because of fog or clouds or some other mysterious reason. In any event, I didn’t want to wait around until it got lighter, so I got up and rang my bells and went back to sleep while it was still early dawn.

11/5 PM
Ringing down the sun just after 5:00 with Norman and Carl.

11/6 AM feed them and they will come...
There are so many more songbirds in the mornings now. It’s partly seasonal, but since Norman has started feeding the birds on our back porch, there are many, many more birds nearby as well (audio).

11/6 PM No Bells
I knew that I would be in the middle of my physical therapy appointment when the sun set so I brought bells with me. Then I left them in the waiting room. During my session as the therapist was working on my neck, she remarked about how dark it was getting so early in the day. So instead of ringing bells, we both looked outside at the fading day through a little crack in the blinds. We talked about turning the clocks up and back and how that disrupted what could be a gentle compression and expansion of our days and nights.

11/7 AM Easy Listening
The easy ringing home routine. Alarm goes off. Bells by the bed. Look outside. Sunny? Foggy? Ring the bells for a minute or so. Back to sleep.

11/7 PM Every available Friday,
I visit with my friend Krys and hang out with her 10 month old son (my Godson) and his 9 month old buddy. We spend the day juggling the 2 boys. If they weren’t so heavy, I would say, “literally juggling”. At the end of the day, just before I had to go, we all sat in the fenced-in play area known as the “mosh pit” and rang the sun down together. Maybe it would be more accurate to say that some of us rang, one of us sat still and listened and the other explored his bell with his mouth. It was lovely. By the way, it took me a while to understand what a mosh pit was. Because my mosh pit days are so far behind me, I only had the faintest of recollections of having heard the phrase before. And now after spending a bit of time in the mosh pit, I think a much better name would be the “mush pit”. I’ll say no more. I didn’t have a camera with me at sunset on Friday, so this is a photo of the boys at the polls on Tuesday.

11/8 AM That crack of dawn must be awfully loud
to wake up so many birds. By the time the sun is about to breach the horizon, the birds are very noisy and busy. As I opened the door to go out back and join them this morning, several pigeons flew off the porch into the crow tree next door (audio). Their wings made that creaky hinge sounds as they flew off.


11/8 PM It drizzled all day
so the porch steps were wet and shiny. They look pretty good since we cleaned them, too. So Norman and I stood at the top of the stairs and leaned over so our bells showed up reflected in the wet bricks.